In the NFL, OTAs are different from training camp in terms of access. Every training camp practice is open to the media and many of them are open to the fans. In the spring, teams are only required to open one OTA per week to the media, a total of three. The three-day minicamp is also open to the media by NFL rules.Since the media was last allowed into the teams first OTA a week ago Monday, they have had four additional practices. So that is where we pick up the story lines going into OTA No. 6, which the media will be able to see.Here is what to watch for:--Might as well start with Robert Griffin III. Each day more and more of the offense is being installed. He did not look entirely comfortable in the pocket last Monday and it will be interesting to see how he responds with even more plays in his head today. The key for Mike and Kyle Shanahan is to give Griffin enough to challenge him without overwhelming him. The balance is important and how well and how quickly he learns and adjusts will be critical to how well he can perform as a rookie.--Chris Cooley, who lost 15 pounds during the offseason, showed no effects from the knee injury that cost him most of the 2011 season. He wore no brace or wrap of any kind on the repaired knee and he ran and cut like the Cooley of old. But that was on the first day. How is the knee doing after five practices?--Whos returning kicks? It looks like the weather will permit todays practice to be held outside so there should be a good opportunity to see who is fielding punts and kickoffs. Brandon Banks is the incumbent returner but he will have to fight off strong challenges from the likes of Aldrick Robinson, Anthony Armstrong, rookie Jordan Bernstine, possibly veteran Santana Moss, and others. With the team likely to keep three quarterbacks this year and perhaps an additional offensive lineman, it will be difficult to keep a return specialist as Banks was last year. The returner may well end up being whoever can do the job competently and still contribute at another position.--Will DeAngelo Hall be there? It appears that much more was made of his absence from last weeks OTA than was warranted. London Fletcher said that Hall had been present for nearly all workouts prior to the one he missed and absence from one of many days of voluntary activity is not anything to get worked up over. We have not heard if he has been present for the four OTAs since last Monday since they were closed to the media and attendance isnt discussed. If hes not there today, however, then there could be a story. This time Mike Shanahan should be available for questions after practice to clear things up, assuming he can avoid being blindsided by one of his defensive backs.Days until: Minicamp 12; training camp 58; preseason opener @ Bills 70; Redskins @ Saints 101; home opener vs. Bengals 115
Joe Theismann wants Kyler Murray to have a "long, happy career" — as a professional baseball player.
In an interview with NBC Sports Washington, the former Redskins QB was asked what he thought of Murray's choice to pursue his NFL dreams over his MLB dreams for now. He didn't hold back.
"I think that he should choose baseball," Theismann said. "I think that he would struggle in the NFL."
As of now, many mock drafts are projecting the Heisman Trophy winner to be selected in the first round. His believers see him as an electric option who's entering a league perfectly suited for his skillset.
Theismann is not in that camp, though.
"I understand a lot of guys work from the 'gun. You're away from the line of scrimmage," he explained. "But, sooner or later, defensive coaches in this league are going to figure out how to keep you in the pocket. And if you can't throw from the pocket, or you can't see from the pocket, it's going to become a problem."
Murray's height, which Theismann touched on, is a main concern for those skeptical of how he'd handle life in the NFL. Of course, being in the 5-foot-9 range matters far less on a MLB diamond.
Theismann also thinks that the Oklahoma product will need to be in an offense with a strong running attack. That's something any rookie passer needs to succeed, and without one, Theismann isn't sure if Murray can carry the load on his own.
In the end, Theismann told NBC Sports Washington that Murray is "making a mistake" by setting his sights on the gridiron. He simply doesn't see things going well for Murray as a signal caller.
"I think in professional football, it'll be a real challenge and an uphill climb for him to be able to do the things that he wants to do and a team wants him to do," he said.
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Here comes Kyler Murray, maybe.
Maybe the NFL, that is. Yes, though the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback announced Monday he would enter the 2019 Draft. We still don’t know whether the Oakland A’s prospect ultimately chooses the gridiron over the outfield. The smitten professional leagues will do whatever is possible for that final rose from the high-profile athlete.
Let’s assume Murray has eyes on a football marriage. He will not have much say in choosing his other half on the team level. With April’s NFL Draft a ways off, it’s the mock draft world determining the 5-foot-9 passer’s destination for now.
The draft slot range extends from the top half of the first round to a Day 2 selection. Picking football with that rumored downside seems unlikely. Murray was the ninth overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft. Therefore we will ponder a world where the bullish win the day.
Among the mock draft’s currently projecting Murray high in the first round, ESPN’s via Mel Kiper Jr. and NBC Sports Washington’s from yours truly. Similarities between the mocks include:
- Murray selected 13th overall by the Miami Dolphins
- The second QB drafted after Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins
- Three quarterbacks in the first round
Not that anyone in the DMV area needs a reminder, but the Redskins have the 15th selection and quarterback uncertainty. Plenty of time for debating remains on whether Washington should use its first on a QB (I lean no for now).
In these scenarios, Washington would miss out on the top two projected quarterbacks. The third QB named in the two mocks, Duke’s Daniel Jones, hears his name called late in round one. Missouri’s Drew Lock and West Virginia’s Will Grier are among the more prominent late first/second-round candidates.
Therefore if adding QB help in round one were the goal, the Redskins would shift focus to other prospects – unless they are love-struck with Murray or Haskins.
Quarterbacks tend to rise by draft day. It’s kind of a valuable position. Therefore sitting at 15 becomes risky if Washington wants one of the better options.
Free agency comes before the draft. At the moment, the Giants (6), Jaguars (7) and Dolphins are obvious QB landing spots. The Buccaneers (5), Broncos (10) and Bengals (11) could join such a list.
Here’s the potential cost for moving up based on recent teams originally selecting 15 or lower.
- Cardinals trade 15, 79, 152 to Raiders for 10 (QB Josh Rosen)
- Bills trade 21, 158 and offensive tackle Cordy Glenn to Bengals for 12 (NT Vita Vea) and 187
- Texans trade 25 and a 2018 first-round selection to Browns for 12 (QB Deshaun Watson)
- Titans trade 15, 76 and a 2017 second round selection to Browns for 8 (OT Jack Conklin), 176
Based on the price Houston paid moving up 13 spots, the cost of jumping past the Giants and Jaguars assuming those teams stay put, for Haskins would require a massive outlay. Recall the bushel of high picks Washington sent St. Louis for the right to draft Robert Griffin III just to move from six to two.
However, the cost for moving from 15 ahead of 13 is not steep relative to the QB need – and the picks at Washington’s disposal.
The trades for Rosen and Conklin are most similar to each other and the Redskins’ situation. Tennessee paid a heavier price in 2016 going from 15 to eight than Arizona did with a move from 15 to 10 last season.
What’s noteworthy from the Washington’s perspective is the ammunition available. The Redskins have their original selections except for the fourth-rounder sent to Green Bay for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and sixth used to snag Adonis Alexander in the supplemental draft. In addition, projections show compensatory picks in the third, fifth and sixth round coming their way based on three of their 2018 free agents – Kirk Cousins, Trent Murphy, Ryan Grant – signing elsewhere.
While the Redskins have a lengthy list of needs, these extra selections allow for a tick more aggressiveness if interested. Washington could make the exact same Arizona trade from last season to jump Miami for Murray or another quarterback and still own seven selections including a first, second and third.
The Redskins would still have enough selections to tab a left guard, wide receiver, safety or whatever remained on the needs following free agency in the second or third round. That’s worth keeping in mind as this discussion lurches forward over next three months.
Before such decisions, the question is whether Murray chooses the NFL over MLB. The pining football world awaits your decision, Kyler.
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